Professors tout AI for students and faculty

artificial intelligence
AI - artificial intelligence graphic by Black Kira via iStock for WMNF News.

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State university system officials this week sought input from a panel of professors about expanding the use of artificial intelligence in classrooms, with one faculty member saying the technology has become a “massive opportunity” for students.

The university system’s Board of Governors hosted a discussion Tuesday about artificial intelligence, or AI, during a meeting at the University of Florida.

UF professor Joel Davis said classes in every academic discipline should incorporate AI.

“Every class, every faculty member, and every student has to be exposed to this technology appropriately … in their particular domain,” Davis said.

He said the biggest opportunity involves what is known as generative AI, which allows users to input prompts resulting in generated content.

Programs that incorporate generative AI can include chatbots, which can take questions from users and generate answers.

Davis said generative AI, for instance, could help students learn material and apply it.

“I see this technology as a massive opportunity for our students. It’s an opportunity to have a personalized tutor or teaching assistant at their fingertips 24-seven, 365,” Davis said.

Florida State University professor Paul Marty encouraged increased use of AI by faculty members.

Marty said “faculty use of these tools has really lagged behind” students’ use.

Meanwhile, University of Central Florida professor Sherry Rankins-Robertson advocated teaching what she referred to as AI literacy.

“Our aim at UCF is we want students to leave our campuses with an understanding of ethical, responsible ways of using technologies like (generative) AI and see the role that technology will play in their career and lives,” Rankins-Robertson said.

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